(Part 2 of 3)
Romans 8:35-39 declares that there is nothing that can stop God’s love from reaching you in times of your “anguished spirit.” Verse 35 reads, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (KJV) The word “separate” refers to “a communication breach.” In other words, there is nothing that can stop Jesus from reaching you when you hurt. There is nothing that can stop the love of Christ from coming to your help when your spirit and your body are going through a hard time. No matter how hard your grief is, Jesus can reach you. In Romans 7, Paul refers to the grace of God or its equivalent eighteen times. In Romans 8, Paul refers to the Spirit eighteen times, teaching us that it is possible to experience the grace of God in our lives and still experience defeats in the things we face daily. Israel experienced the grace of God: they survived for four hundred and thirty years in Egypt before deliverance came by the hand of Moses. The early church faced extreme hardships because of the persecution by the Romans. God’s grace was there, yet many saints lived under condemnation and anguish of spirit. After Paul directs them to God’s plan for them, the overcoming life, he says, “What shall we say to these things… God is for us.” There are forces that war against you to break your spirit and to cause a “gap,” or a separation between you and the Lord.
Paul lists seventeen things in Romans 8:35-39 that can cause anguish of heart. The number seventeen in Bible numerics means, “Christ’s total victory over everything that can hurt you.” “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (KJV).
Proverbs 3:25-26 reads, “Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken” (KJV). All of the things that Paul lists can bring on a sudden fear.
Tribulation… pressures of life, tight spots, burdens, hardships, afflictions, or trial by fire. There is no pressure or hardship that can stop Jesus’ love from reaching you when you hurt. Just because you experience anguish of heart does not mean that the Lord will stop talking to you.
Distress… mental pain, misery, torment, standing alone as if you were stranded on a small island, being in narrow place, or hemmed in. Jesus’ love is a bridge over troubled waters. If you feel that you are alone, build bridges, not walls. Distress can bring anguish of spirit, but there is no distress big enough to stop God from talking to you.
Persecution… fear of attack by words of accusation, blame, fear of non-acceptance, fear of oppression against your person, or tongue scourging. Not even these things can stop Jesus from reaching your spirit when you are going through anguish of heart.
Famine… unfulfilled needs, unfulfilled desires, unfulfilled goals, or lack of food. Jesus is the everlasting Provider. These things cannot stop Jesus.
Nakedness… lack of security, lack of covering, or lack of protection. Our greatest security is in Christ. He provides the miracles, and He provides the finances. Jesus will help us.
Peril… dangers of every kind, exposure to hurts and injuries, crime, rape, or stolen IDs. Today with all the security around you, evil still attempts to penetrate your home. Wherever you are, Jesus is there too (Psalm 139).
Sword… strife of tongues, controversy, accusations, verbal aggression, verbal vagrancy, war, spousal abuse through verbal exchanges, child abuse, criticism of those in authority, or neighbor problems. These things cause a lot of anguish. Take all your abuses to the Lord and leave them there. Remember this… you may not be able to master another’s tongue, but you are the master of your ears (Ecclesiastes 7:21-22). Strife of tongues can put a lot of anguish into your spirit, but it cannot stop the love of God from reaching you.
(To be continued…)
Pastor George Belobaba
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